Website Redesign: South Coast Copy Systems

The new site went live about two weeks ago, but I’m just now getting around to posting about it.

I have been consulting for South Coast Copy Systems — a copier dealer in San Diego — for over the last 11 years. I’ve done 5 or 6 website redesigns for them over those years, and each time I do, I learn more and apply new techniques and skills picked up over the years.

Each time I redesign the website, I build it atop a custom CMS I developed for them, utilizing a custom PHP framework I also developed. The framework I developed was a bit long in the tooth and didn’t have the features of the bigger and more up-to-date frameworks available. And I haven’t even mentioned the weak security throughout the framework that I never got around to fixing.

When they contracted me to redesign their website again, I knew I would have to rebuild it all from scratch using a more established framework. I chose to build the new site in CodeIgniter. I chose CodeIgniter because it’s the framework with which I was already most familiar, it was the fastest of the PHP frameworks, and the community support was pretty solid. I made this decision well before EllisLab announced they would be offloading CodeIgniter.

The good news is, even if CodeIgniter languishes and they don’t find a new owner, the current website isn’t going to just stop working. The site is built on a solid foundation for me to build up. Right now, it’s merely just a redesign and restructuring of the back-end code, but in the coming months I will be expanding the features available to their current customers.

Now that the website is done, time to get started on an iPhone app …

Qualcomm Downplaying Apple 64-bit Chip

From TechHive:

“I know there’s a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7,” said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Qualcomm, in an interview. “I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There’s zero benefit a consumer gets from that.”

A benefit of 64-bit is more memory addressability, but that is not relevant in today’s smartphones or tablets, Chandrasekher said. The iPhone 5s has only 1GB of DRAM.

“Predominantly… you need it for memory addressability beyond 4GB. That’s it. You don’t really need it for performance, and the kinds of applications that 64-bit get used in mostly are large, server-class applications,” said Chandrasekher, who previously ran Intel’s mobile platforms group.

Translation: we don’t have a 64-bit chip yet so 64-bit is nothing special. Ask us again when we release our own 64-bit mobile chip.

Why are we even listening to the Chief Marketing Officer when it comes to something as technical as chip architecture? Of course he’s going to spin it to make his company look the best, and downplay the competition.

The chip maker ultimately will deliver a 64-bit mobile chip, but sees the move as more beneficial from engineering, chip design and OSes standpoints.

“From an engineering efficiency standpoint it just makes sense to go do that. Particularly the OS guys will want it at some point in time,” said Chandrasekher, who declined to say when the its 64-bit chip would be introduced.

Consumers and tablet and smartphone makers won’t drive the demand for 64-bit chips, Chandrasekher said.

Translation: the consumer gets no benefit from 64-bit, except more efficient systems and an improved OS. Got it.

I also liked this bit (emphasis mine): “Consumers and tablet and smartphone makers won’t drive the demand for 64-bit chips.” So tablet and smartphone makes won’t drive the demand for 64-bit chips, the OS guys will. I wonder if there are any companies out there that develop an OS to run on the hardware they also developed?

Android 4.4 to be named “KitKat”

Google’s Sundar Pichai, head of both Android and Chrome, has confirmed that the next version of Android will be called KitKat. Yes, you’ve read correctly, KitKat, as in the trademarked name of the chocolate candy bar made by Nestle (and licensed by Hershey in the US). A splash page for the new operating system reveals that KitKat will be the codename for Android 4.4, not the long-rumored Android 5.0. The name keeps the company’s long-standing tradition of naming each version of its mobile operating system after desserts.

To date, Google has internally referred to the release as Key Lime Pie, but the company decided to go for another name after realizing that “very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie,” director of Android partnerships John Lagerling tells the BBC. Late last year, someone suggested naming the upcoming version KitKat — apparently a favorite snack of Android coders — and the company “decided to reach out to the Nestle folks.” Within 24 hours an agreement was made, though it’s apparently “not a money-changing-hands kind of deal,” according to Lagerling.

Google has opened the door for Android sponsorships, finding new ways to get ads in front of users. Google says no money is changing hands, but there is a cross-promotion deal in place, with links to a contest being run by Hershey.

Bonus fun: a comment on The Verge reads, “Kit Kat is a fitting name for an OS that fragments into different pieces”

Dusting off the ol’ blog

More and more lately, I’ve been wanting to get back into writing. On this blog in the past, I would mostly give updates on my life; using the blog was great for keeping friends and family up to date on what I had been up to in life. With the advent of social networks like Facebook or Twitter, the idea of a personal blog being a “personal updates” mechanism has become somewhat obviated.

This isn’t going to be a personal life blog. My plans are to write about my interests in technology and software development. That means a lot of talk about Apple and Google, with a heavy dose of web and software development. I might talk a bit about sports here and there, but for the most part this will be a tech blog to start.

I feel I’ve honed my point of view and know what I want to broadcast on here. Things might be a bit rough to start as I find my voice again and get back into the groove, but I have things I want to say and I hope the world wants to hear them.